There are a lot of things I wonder about that maybe I shouldn’t be questioning. I guess that makes me an imperfect human that struggles sometimes to have faith. I wonder why God doesn’t answer some prayers when He knows the longings of our hearts. I have asked what motives are not right and pure, but I have received no answer. Maybe I have not been persistent enough, like the widow demanding justice. I am afraid to be persistent, because I am afraid that I am wanting something different than what God wants. I don’t want anything less than His will. So how do I pray? Do I beg? Do I give up and allow whatever will happen to happen? The Bible says I do not have because I do not ask. It also says whatever I ask for in the name of Jesus I will receive. It also says to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to me as well. I will continue to seek His kingdom, but the question remains: how do I pray?
Although this season in my life is amazing, I am also struggling through it. For one, I’m not finding many people I know to understand the place I’m at right now, and that is rather lonely. Most people are busy doing things and exhausted because of their responsibilities. I understand that, and I was there for years. However, God has moved me to a place of being–being in Him, listening intently to Him, and wrestling through the many questions in my heart that previously I made no time to pose to Him. This place in my life is so contrary to everything I was not so very long ago. I used to be a planner. I used to be involved in everything. I used to be overly committed to good things, like my church and Sunday School class. It scares me to let go of some things, especially when I can’t figure out what God is doing. It feels like I’m floating through outer space with light years of nothing in every direction. There is no friction, so I cannot move myself. I am just floating at the mercy of God. I have no idea where I am going. I can’t have plans. For the first time I think I understand how silly plans can be when we don’t even know what the next five minutes hold. So what is life? I haven’t the slightest idea. I used to live with the illusion that I had some control. Maybe I do, but in my relationship with God right now, I have no control. At least I have some degree of peace in knowing this is where He wants me.
I had a strange dream last night that becomes even more strange the longer I think about it. I don’t really know what to make of it, except that now I realize that I desire the kind of community I read about in the Bible. However, that kind of community, though fascinating, doesn’t make any sense within our culture. Maybe our culture doesn’t lend itself to creating communities or holding onto them. I am so thankful for our country and what we stand for. I love that we can become anything we dream of becoming. However, how do I have dreams and yet not live this life for myself? We talk so much about “balance” and having a “balanced life.” However, Jesus always spoke in extremes. He wants all or nothing from us. He told the rich young man to go sell everything he had and follow Him, not sell everything he might not need later. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He told them not to take anything for the journey but what they were wearing. I guess I am trying to grasp following Jesus within our culture, and it simply doesn’t make sense.
The desires of my heart are becoming clearer and clearer, yet I only see them at a distance. In a way I’d rather go back to only thinking of them occasionally. It didn’t hurt so much then. How do I live in expectation, yet hold on in faith? How do I dream and still trust? How do I trust God with the desires of my heart? I thought I did, but that was before I really wanted them. Lord, please help me in this.
How do I live as a child of God in a complacent world? Children are starving and dying every day and yet we are content to go to our air-conditioned jobs and complain about the weather. How do I deal with having to be in this place right now? I am one of them. The world keeps turning and it seems I have no choice. It breaks my heart.
In what ways do I still need to grow? God, please teach me, I want to learn. Please speak, for Your servant is listening. I’m tired of meaningless years. I’m tired of this selfishness. Am I ever tired of this selfishness! Lord, heal me and send me out. I will follow you forever. My heart is growing impatient. I want to jump into the deep of the ocean with you. Help me, Lord, please help me.
After I finished writing this, I opened up my devotional, and here is today’s message from the Daily God Book by Erin Keeley Marshall:
“No matter where you come from, I have beautiful plans for the rest of your story.”
“I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel.” -1 Chronicles 17:7
For anyone who has ever felt small or overlooked-like minor news in a top-story world-God is the best news around. Actually the best news, period. He has always found delight in taking unknowns and making headline successes of their lives.
King David is just one example. His headline could read many ways. How about “Shepherd Boy Makes It Big”? “Country Boy Takes Over Palace Duty”? “Stone Slinger Sings Psalms from Throne”?
God excels at creating beautiful stories with people’s lives. Yours is no exception.
Far from leaving us trapped by the limitations, mistakes, and even the sins of our pasts, God wants to use those events to shape us into people suited for His specific plans for us.
No one has your experiences. No one has your heartaches. No one has grown exactly as you have through them. And because of them, no one else can go exactly where God wants to take you from here.
Your history does not define you. What you think of as hindrances to your future God sees as opportunities to make an even greater difference in your life and to send a greater message to the world about His goodness and power.
God chose a shepherd boy to be king in the line of His Son, Jesus, our Savior. Regardless of whether you came from the lap of luxury or from the wrong side of the tracks, God has a wonderful story to tell through you.
Your beginning was only a blank page, far from the whole story. Let God have the keyboard and write the rest of your life.
It’s sure to be a page turner.
Lord, there are parts of my past that bother me, even though I’ve tried to release them to You. Please heal the areas that need it, reform the broken parts, and piece together a story that shows others Your skills at authoring a beautiful life.”
Lord, let it be so.